Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

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Employment Opportunities

Since its founding in 1985, The Washington Institute has served as a training ground for future policymakers in both Democratic and Republican administrations. During its quarter-century history, an impressive array of talented scholars has been associated with the Institute. They have gone on to join government and help shape American foreign policy in the Middle East. At the same time, upon completion of their public service, some of the best minds from government are attracted to the Institute. This exchange of ideas and people with the executive branch is very much a part of The Washington Institute's effectiveness.

“The Institute has become a reservoir of talent.”

– Secretary of State Warren Christopher

The Institute's prestigious intern and research assistant programs also provide a pathway for college graduates and graduate students to begin the transformation from young scholar to promising analyst and future policymaker. The Institute is proud of its interns and research assistants -- many of whom go on to serve in government and make their own contributions in the policy world.

Current employment opportunities include

The Washington Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Soref Fellow

The Washington Institute's Soref fellowship, a one-year research position with full stipend, is designated primarily for individuals who have already earned a master's or doctoral degree in U.S. foreign policy or Middle East studies. Applications are also welcome from those with some years of experience post-degree, such as university assistant professors.

The fellowship is designed for those who are considering a career in government or journalism rather than in academia; it is not meant as a dissertation fellowship. Soref fellows conduct independent research and acquire first-hand knowledge of U.S. Middle East policymaking, contributing written analyses to the Institute's PolicyWatch series and publishing longer studies as monographs. The Washington Institute studies the Middle East in order to better support U.S. policy in the region, not to better understand its peoples. Research proposals, therefore, should cover a topic relevant to U.S. Middle East policymakers. Nationals of all countries are welcome to apply.

Application materials should include the following:

  • Professional biography.
  • References.
  • Scholarly writing sample, such as a dissertation chapter.
  • Policy writing sample, such as a published op-ed.
  • One or two research proposals that should not exceed 600 words. Applicants, especially those without a doctoral degree, should explain why they are particularly well placed to write about the subject they propose to research.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with the Institute’s work. Since we are a small organization, we seek candidates who do not duplicate existing expertise of Institute staff members. For 2016, we are particularly interested in those with expertise about developments in Libya and Yemen.

Interested applicants should send materials to:

Dr. Patrick Clawson, Director of Research
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
1111 19th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

No phone calls please.

Thanks to recent generous donations to support additional fellows, the Institute is soliciting applications during the summer and autumn of 2016.

Research Assistant

The Washington Institute offers a number of research assistantships to college graduates with an interest and background in Middle East affairs. Research assistants support senior scholars and visiting research fellows, participate in The Washington Institute's weekly Policy Forum luncheons, and contribute to the daily operations of the office. Some assistants publish their work as part of the Institute's Research Notes series. Candidates with near-native fluency in Arabic, Farsi, or Turkish receive strong consideration. Research assistantships are full-time, year-long paid positions with benefits beginning in June of each year.

This position is designed for applicants who have obtained their bachelor's degree only. Qualified, graduate-level applicants are encouraged to apply for the Soref fellowship. Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume by email (please include the phrase "Research Assistant Application" in the subject line) or by post to:

Eric Trager, RA/Intern Program Coordinator
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
1111 19th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

No phone calls please.

Research Intern

Full-time and part-time research internships at The Washington Institute are open to current undergraduates as well as recent graduates with a bachelor's degree. Interns provide research and administrative support to Institute staff. Internships are unpaid.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume by email (please include the phrase "Internship Application" in the subject line) or by post to:

Eric Trager, RA/Intern Program Coordinator
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
1111 19th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Please include your availability in your cover letter. State whether you are available full time, and when you are available to start. Note that while the Institute prefers applicants who can work full time, we occasionally have room for part-time interns.

No phone calls please.

Application deadlines for internship terms:

  • Fall (September to December): July 15
  • Winter/Spring (January to May): November 1
  • Summer (June to August): April 1

Managing Editor, Fikra Forum

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, one of the world’s leading research organizations devoted to the Middle East, is seeking a managing editor for an updated and expanded version of Fikra Forum: the Institute’s bilingual web platform featuring original analysis on Middle Eastern affairs, including by independent experts and activists based in the region, in both English and Arabic. This position is based in our Washington, D.C. office.

Working under the director of Fikra Forum, the managing editor is responsible for the daily operations of the website, and for directing two assistants. The managing editor will be in charge of editing and soliciting submissions; overseeing website content, design and maintenance; tracking and improving digital analytics; managing outreach, special events, and marketing campaigns, including social media; and recruiting new contributors in the Middle East.

The managing editor will work closely with the Institute’s Arabic and communications staff to help launch a redesigned website, integrating Fikra Forum more closely with other Institute programs, followed by a media and branding campaign. The successful candidate must have deep knowledge of Middle Eastern affairs and closely follow regional developments.


  • Bachelor’s degree is required.
  • Previous managerial and/or editorial experience.
  • Able to write and edit English language articles at the level of a professional journalist.
  • Ability to read and edit analytical articles in Arabic.
  • Demonstrated social media knowledge and successes.
  • Familiarity with or aptitude for WordPress CMS and Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator.

The Washington Institute offers its full-time employees a generous benefits package, including health, dental and vision insurance, life and disability insurance, generous paid time off, and a retirement savings program.

To apply, please submit your resume and a cover letter, along with salary requirements no later than May 31, here.

No calls or emails to staff regarding this position are accepted, please.